One of the first things you will find out as an Author is that YOU ARE YOUR ADVERTISING. Agents and Publishers look at what your presence is online and how you are selling yourself. Don’t be offended at that word. Use the word marketing if you like.
The point is, you have to get attention in order to get attention. As soon as you realize you want to be an author start marketing. What are things you need to do?
Establishing your Network/Platform or whatever you want to call it.
Professionals will tell you to focus focus focus. Focus your energy on two or three media outlets and that’s it. Okay, I somewhat agree.
Today let’s talk about three of them:
What’s the best way to control your presence, your marketing, your portfolio and establish a home where everyone knows your name? You got it . . .
Some of you are freaking out. Don’t. You want to know why?
- Blogs are free unless you want some super upgrade things
- You only put on a blog what you want to
- You can delete anything on your blog you don’t like
Why should you have a blog?
Let’s go ahead and establish first that you should go ahead and use your pen name as your blog address or URL. Blog address? Yes, that’s the http://www.whatever.com thing you type. The Title of your blog can be anything else. Like I could change the Title of this site to The Literary World of Interviews. It will change nothing in the way of how you find this site. But I prefer for the name of the site to be the same as the address, the URL address. Being the same is less confusing. And by being your name it will be easy to find you and it’s professional. You can also use the name of your book series. A friend of mine and her family have written a series, the second is out now. The trilogy is called The Seeds Trilogy and their site is very nice. It gives character profiles and a lot of things to help you really get into the atmosphere of the books. One of our Authors, PS Barlett has a nice Author Blog as well.
Your Blog, your official Author site should be professional. It should contain your work and the image you wish to project. Keep the unprofessional things off of there unless you just don’t care. I am not saying don’t have fun and share fun things, I am just saying be professional about what you post.
A Blog is also your central hub that all of your other social media spin off of.
That brings us to . . .
I know you probably just don’t even want to think about it. It’s some alien monster beast that you don’t understand that speaks in hashtagonese but it’s easier than you think. And to be honest, you don’t have to do that much with it at first to get started. You can even connect it to your blog, very easily, and then everything you post on your blog would have a link to it sent to Twitter.
How important is Twitter to a literary type blog person? For this site, LWI, historically since it began the number one place we get people to come visit us from as of this writing is Twitter then WordPress Reader, Search Engines and Facebook. They are all very close in number but those are the top four. And those are the four ways I expect it to be at this moment. We have some great affiliated blogs that we receive quite a bit of traffic from as well.
Don’t just tweet about your books and your work. Tweet fun things, jokes, links to videos, interesting articles, anything. Also keep your image in mind. You don’t want to come off as some immature, racist, sexist punk. I apologize to you immature, racist, sexist punk Authors out there, you can tweet what you like. If you tweet just things about your work, you will lose people, followers. Look at Neil Gaiman. He has a great Twitter feed. He mentions other authors and even tweets funny things along with his work. His are some of the most humorous and window into his world tweets I have seen and it allows his followers to connect with him.
Facebook, in all honesty, is not what it used to be but it is still worth the effort to have an Author page. You can also set anything you post on your Author page to go to Twitter as well. You can so things on facebook such as launch parties and you can even use it much like Twitter now with the use of hashtags. In case you are not familiar with hashtags that is when you see something like #FreeBooks or #LitWorldInterviews. You just put # in front of a uninterrupted series of words or word. And you are not limited to 140 characters as you are on Twitter, although, when/if your facebook post does go to Twitter the 14o characters does become a factor so your message will be chopped if it goes long. I let mine be chopped. I just put my hashtags at the beginning or in the message itself.
Facebook is where, if you have a blog, you want to post other things. You can still post your work. I put links to things on my blog on mine. But I also do videos, little joke images, or sometimes I will do poetry that I only post on facebook. I put things you would only see if you followed me on facebook. Again, not a difficult thing to do.
Believe it or not, you can schedule things to post on each of these media outlets. You can spend a couple of hours and set up a post a day or three posts for the week on your blog, if it takes that long. Tweets can be done the same, and facebook as well. You don’t have to be there and be active all the time, but you do want to respond to people who might comment to you. That’s up to you though. But fans do like some acknowledgement at times.
I will be getting into each of these in detail in separate articles, but for now I would advise anyone reading this that has even the remotest thought of becoming an author to go ahead and set these up. It does no harm. Go ahead and do it. I use WordPress.com for blogging. It’s free and very easy. I’ve tried others and this one really seems the easiest to me so far. It might just be a preference but I do like it, plus WordPress has a great Author community that really does support one another. You want proof? You’re reading the proof now. Authors united to help other authors and to promote their work. That’s right, we want everyone to be a success.
Until Next Time
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